Andrew Yang‘s campaign has laid off dozens of staff members following its disappointing performance in Iowa, where preliminary caucus results show the entrepreneur earning only 1 percent of the delegate count in its sixth place finish.
The Democratic presidential hopeful’s campaign let go of its national political and policy directors and the deputy national political director, according to Politico, citing several sacked campaign staffers. The campaign employs 230 people, according to financial reports.
Campaign manager Zach Graumann explained that the layoffs were not unexpected as Mr Yang closes his Iowa operation and looks ahead to the primary election in New Hampshire.
Mr Graumann said: “These actions are a natural evolution of the campaign post-Iowa, same as other campaigns have undertaken, and Andrew Yang is going to keep fighting for the voices of the more than 400,000 supporters who have donated to the campaign and placed a stake in the future of our country.”
But former employees told Politico that the campaign anticipated those staffing shakeups to arrive in New Hampshire following the candidate’s performance in that state, not in Iowa, the first state to cast votes in the 2020 election.
In January, Mr Yang’s campaign staff was among several Democratic 2020 teams that joined the Campaign Workers Guild, joining a union with the staffs of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Julian Castro and Eric Swalwell, who both dropped out of the race, also recognised their staff’s unions.
According to Politico, laid-off staffers received one month’s severance.
The candidate’s platform is largely built around a campaign promise of implementing a Freedom Dividend, which would provide every American over the age of 18 with $1,000 a month, and crafting economic policy around “human-centred capitalism”.
He closed his fourth quarter campaign fundraising in 2019 with more than $16.5 million.